Paper continues to attract more money than digital

The newspapers languish, but still inject editors with money that can not be rejected. And although fewer and fewer copies are sold, their advertising continues to sustain the business, albeit in an unstable equilibrium.

The press is progressively diluted, but it still adds some brilliance to the media’s results accounts. This is reflected in the “Claves de la Información” report, prepared by Deloitte and presented by the Media Information Association (AMI).

Between January and September of the current year, the head offices integrated in this association have billed 501 million euros for advertising, exactly the same as last year. And is that the ads have become the support of the print editions, which increasingly have fewer customers in the market.

Suffice it to note: if in 2008 “El País” sold more than 330,000 copies a day, ten years later that figure is not even reached, adding the daily sales of the newspaper of Prisa with those of “El Mundo”, “ABC”, “La Razón”, “El Periódico” and “La Vanguardia”.

Advertising, on the other hand, enjoys relative good health in newspapers. During the third quarter of the year, the head offices of AMI have billed 326 million euros, 6.1% less than in 2017.

On the Internet, 175 million have been invoiced, with a growth of 14.1%. The media receive 1.8 euros per printed copy of advertising revenues, compared to 1.4 euros generated on the Internet. That is, paper produces 13% more than digital, to the extent that printed editions represent six out of ten euros in advertising billing.

Moreover, if in 2016 the press received 84.9 euros per thousand users on the Internet, last year they were 78.6 euros and this year it has fallen to 70.6 euros. Digital readers have a lower monetary value than paper readers, even though paper continues to lose readers.

In search of the paywall
In spite of the figures that the publicity throws, the means continue betting by models of payment to sustain their businesses in the long term. It is expected that in 2019 the payment walls will be in operation in almost all the Spanish capitals, despite the fact that an advertising bill of more than 800 million euros is expected.

Perhaps the fact that the digital audience of the media has reached 331 million unique multiplatform users (+54% three years ago), has encouraged the media to take the step: the higher the volume of users, the greater the likelihood of that pay for the product. But it will be necessary to influence the quality of content to provide differential value to consumers who have long since lost the habit of paying to read news.

Spain has a complicated market for payment in the media, unlike countries like Sweden, where “77% of digital users pay for something”, in the words of Martin Jönsson, Head of Editorial Development of the Swedish newspaper “Dagen Nyheter” .

In the case of “Politico Europe”, up to 45% of readers are willing to pay. The key, according to Gilhean Slater, responsible for Business Development, is that the focus is “on the daily conversation”.